Free Mental Health Support for NYC Teens Provided by NYC Teenspace!



NYC Health Department is providing free online mental health support to any teen who lives in New York City. Sign up for NYC Teenspace to be paired with a therapist for messaging and live virtual sessions, and receive access to online courses and tips designed just for teens. To register, visit


You can also read the frequently asked questions here.

Congratulations to the Newest Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) Graduates!

Congratulations to the 2023 Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) class! These newly certified CRPAs will go on to make a difference in someone’s life by supporting individuals living with substance use disorder. As part of the program, they will become employed at one of Staten Island PPS’s partner organizations.

The primary function of a CRPA is doing outreach with people currently in a program or considering treatment. Using their recovery experience, professional training and lived experience, peers boost individuals’ engagement in treatment and commitment to recovery.

Thank you to special guest speaker, Stephen Nico, Peer Supervisor at Richmond University Medical Center for sharing his perspective with the class as a peer counselor and for screening this cohort!

The CRPA program is one of four free apprenticeship programs sponsored by Staten Island PPS. To learn more about the program and how to become a CRPA, visit

[Press Release] Staten Island PPS and Partners Show Success with AI-Based Analytics Program to Combat Record Overdose Deaths



For more information, contact:
Lauren Tepfer
(917) 830-1149 



Staten Island, NY, September 2023 – In the first year of the program, which launched in March of 2022, the Hotspotting the Overdose Epidemic program has shown great success. There was an 81% reduction in non-fatal overdoses for those clients engaged in the program. More importantly, there were two overdose-related deaths in the engaged group compared to 11 in the non-engaged group. These initial results suggest a strong impact of participation in the multiple levels of service that the program provides.  

The Hotspotting Program is an evidence-based, data-driven overdose prevention and outreach initiative that aims to leverage predictive analytics to identify individuals at the highest risk of overdose and engage them before an adverse event, using a person-centered care management model. The predictive analytics model was developed in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Initiative for Health Systems.    

Other outcomes of the first year of the program include 100% of clients having a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) assigned to them at the initial point of engagement; from the prevention aspect, 84% of clients received harm reduction services (e.g., Narcan, an overdose reversal agent, screening for hepatitis, fentanyl test strips, and clean syringes); and from the social aspect, 91% completed screening for social care needs, with 78% of those needs met by community-based partners. The overall reduction of emergency room and inpatient care demonstrated that coordinated care could improve outcomes and ultimately impact the cost of care. A thorough analysis of visits that were specifically related to overdose and substance misuse showed that the engaged group had a reduction of 56.2% and 42.6% for ER and inpatient utilization, respectively.   

Dr. Brahim Ardolic, Executive Director of Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell said, ”Nearly 7,000 New Yorkers died from overdose in the past 12 months, over 150 from Staten Island alone; we need innovative programs to reverse this tragic trend. The Hotspotting Program that SIUH and other dedicated providers on SI are implementing, is the first comprehensive strategy that offers hope. With dedicated providers, peer advocates and innovative technology, Hotspotting is saving lives and we believe can do so elsewhere.” 

Former New York Congressman and The Secure Future Project Senior Advisor, Max Rose notes, “The opioid overdose epidemic is one of our nation’s greatest public health crises. The incredible work done in two years by the Hotspotting Program is a testament to the fact that this does not have to be the case. It is now imperative that managed care organizations and governments nationwide step up to scale this proven model.”  

Joseph Conte, PhD, Executive Director of the Staten Island PPS said, “With the latest CDC data showing that over 111,000 Americans, among them 6,849 NY residents, lost their lives to overdose in a 12-month period ending April 2023, it is time for a radical change in passive strategy to active pursuit of patient facing, CRPA led and technology enabled solution like the PPS Hotspotting Program– data doesn’t lie- the Hotspotting program saves lives and reduces overall OD rates for engaged community members.” 

Staten Island District Attorney, Michael E. McMahon adds, “From my first day as District Attorney, saving the lives of those battling addiction illness has been an essential mission of the men and women of my office. We are so proud of the innovative work we have done in conjunction with the NYPD, health professionals, treatment providers, and especially the Staten Island PPS. The Hotspotting Program is a common-sense, life-saving approach to saving those at serious risk of a fatal overdose, and we are thrilled that the hard work of our Alternatives to Incarceration Unit and the PPS team have paid such immense and immediate dividends in our quest to prevent overdoses in our communities.” 

Robert Kent, Esq. former General Counsel, White House of National Drug Control Policy and President of Kent Strategic Advisors, LLC noted “The Hotspotting Program is a game changer!  The first-year results are validation that when we invest our time and resources in helping those who are struggling with addiction; the results can change lives!  We must continue this important work and explore opportunities to expand its reach!” 



About the Hotspotting Program    

The program consists of four main components: Predictive analytics, a person-centered care management model, contingency management, and value-based outcomes. 

Consistent with the National Drug Control Strategy calling for evidence-based models of care, the program incorporates Contingency Management (CM) for Medication Assisted Treatment patients. CM uses the science of behavioral economics to help individuals develop and maintain healthy habits and care plan routines. It is a proven intervention that is effective in increasing treatment retention rates, improving treatment compliance, and reducing substance use in a cost-effective way.   

The program also focuses on value-based payments to providers to incentivize comprehensive and value-based care, as opposed to current fee-for-service models (outcomes vs. encounters). It focuses on reducing harm and promotes a continuum of care leading to sustained recovery while avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations.  

The Hotspotting Program is funded by a $3 million grant from a private foundation, The Secure Future Project, and $1.5 million from Staten Island PPS/Northwell Health.  


About Staten Island Performing Provider System 

The Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS) is an integrated network of medical, behavioral, academic partners and social services agencies. Our founding goals included improving the quality of care, reducing costs and improving health outcomes for Staten Island’s Medicaid and uninsured populations. Originally formed under the DSRIP program, we continue enhancing and refining the transformative work with our partners to improve population health outcomes, address social determinants of health, grow our network and reduce health disparities. We are dedicated to improving health equity by holding conversations with our community, creating educational and workforce opportunities for youth, and bridging connections with non-traditional service providers to meet people where they are in the community.


[In The News] How Bots Can Prevent Opioid Overdoses Before They Happen


Staten Island has a drug problem. Opioid overdose deaths in the New York City borough are 170 percent higher than the national average. While fentanyl is responsible for the majority of deaths, it’s not the only substance to blame. Overprescribing opioids has contributed to the crisis, as well as the fact that addiction service providers have been spread too thin.

Joseph Conte knows about these issues all too well. He’s the executive director of the Staten Island Performing Provider System, a clinical and social service health-care network, and he leads the island’s efforts to address the crisis. Conte told The Daily Beast that the country’s public officials have only recently started putting their money where their mouths are.

Read the full article here.

Safely Dispose of Your Unused Medication


Dispose of your unneeded prescription medication, no questions asked! Saturday, April 30th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. You can take part by properly disposing of your unneeded, unused, or expired prescription medication. Thanks to the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, you can find a drop-off location near you:


[Press Release] Staten Island Performing Provider System and Partners Announce $4 Million Investment From The Secure Future Project and Northwell Health to Combat The Opioid Crisis

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Announce Plans to Explore the Adoption of this Innovative Program in Their Jurisdictions

Staten Island, NY, NOVEMBER [10], 2021 – In the face of an unprecedented 50% increase in overdose deaths across the United States, the Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS) and partners announced a game-changing $4 million investment to combat the opioid crisis, funded both by Northwell Health and by a $3 million grant from the Secure Future Project and its founders.


The grant—provided by The Secure Future Project and its founders, Fabienne and Doug Silverman and Jennifer and David Millstone—will launch “Hotspotting the Opioid Crisis,” a data-driven program designed to provide high-risk individuals with peer-centered, recovery-focused care. This program will be implemented by SI PPS alongside local treatment providers and the Office of the Richmond County District Attorney, with the goal of providing care before, not after, an opioid overdose.


In collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management, SI PPS has developed a predictive algorithm to focus the initiative’s efforts on community members who are most at risk of suffering from an overdose. Many of these individuals have been inadequately engaged in care, have left treatment programs, or have been impacted by system-wide issues such as a lack of access to in-person services. The “Hotspotting the Opioid Crisis” program will deploy fully-funded teams whose sole focus will be on preventing opioid harm by engaging and coordinating these high-risk individuals in their recovery journey, thereby improving outcomes and delivering value to the health system.


County Executives Pat Ryan of Ulster County and Steve Bellone of Suffolk County also announced that they will actively explore the adoption of the “Hotspotting the Opioid Crisis” model in their respective counties. ushering in an exciting new state-wide paradigm for combating the Opioid Crisis in New York.


Former New York Congressman and The Secure Future Project Senior Advisor, Max Rose notes, “Next year, more people will likely die from the Opioid crisis than COVID. This is a crisis of the gravest proportions which demands not more of the same, but an innovative, bold, and data-based strategy. The Secure Future Project is honored to be supporting this hotspotting pilot not only because it will save lives on Staten Island, but also because it will set the framework for a new statewide and nationwide model to combat this horrific epidemic. In short, because of this amazing investment and partnership, lives will be saved and healthcare provision will be transformed.”


“For more than two decades, the opioid crisis has ravaged New York, taking thousands of lives and tearing apart countless families,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “By intervening before it’s too late, SI PPS will serve as a vital resource for the people of Staten Island and will help stop high-risk individuals from falling through the cracks. I am confident that the $4 million investment being announced today by The Secure Future Project and Northwell Health will work hand-in-hand with the hundreds of millions of dollars my office has already secured for New York City to tackle this epidemic. Just as I have worked tirelessly to end the devastation from opioid addiction, SI PPS is doing incredible work to combat the opioid crisis and protect New Yorkers.”


“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on our region, causing heartbreak for far too many families,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “As we work to end this pandemic once and for all, I have already spoken with Northwell Health about the possibility of bringing this innovative, data-driven initiative to Suffolk. I believe this approach can make a real difference, and I’m recommending the program architects present before our Opioid Task Force for consideration in Suffolk County.”


“We know that the pressures created by COVID-19 have led to an increase in opioid overdoses and fatalities in Ulster County and around the nation,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “In light of this, we must double down on our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. In Ulster County we are expanding our High Risk Mitigation team and using our recently received opioid settlement funds to combat this crisis. I am confident that these initiatives along with programs like the Hotspotting the Opioid Crisis model⁠, will help to save lives.”


“This is an exciting and unique collaboration with SI PPS that could result in a significant amount of learning—not just about what works, but also about how and why it works and how it can be adapted and scaled to other groups,” said Dr. Anne Quaadgras, director of MIT Sloan’s Initiative for Health Systems Innovation (HSI).


“The majority of the tools available in our criminal justice system are reactive, yet for anyone battling a substance use disorder, particularly as fentanyl has become even more prevalent, failing to be proactive is too often the difference between life and death. That is why this initiative is so important, because identifying those at risk and deploying resources, including peer recovery coaches, to work alongside them and connect them to services before they suffer an overdose, will undoubtedly save lives, keep families whole, and make Staten Island a healthier and safer place,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. “As always, we are incredibly proud to be working in partnership with the Staten Island Performing Provider System, Staten Island treatment providers, former-Congressman Max Rose, and the founders of The Secure Future Project, who all have shown tremendous leadership on this important issue.”


“The opioid crisis cannot be addressed alone. It takes allies,” said Brahim Ardolic, Executive Director of the Staten Island University Hospital. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic has burned in the background, and all of the data suggests that it will keep burning as we come out of the pandemic. We need to use that data to our advantage.”


Dr. Ardolic pointed to how predictive modeling like MIT’s algorithm has been successful in positioning ambulances in the community for better emergency response time after each call. Joseph Conte, Executive Director of the Staten Island PPS, said, “With this generous funding, our goal is to design and implement an evidence-making program that will contribute to attacking the substance use disorder problem on Staten Island and beyond.”


For more information, contact:
Lauren Tepfer
(917) 830-1149

2022 Behavioral Health Planning Symposium Recap

On Wednesday, November 3rd from 12:00-4:00pm in the Persimmon Room at the Hilton Garden Inn, Staten Island PPS hosted the 2022 Behavioral Health Planning Symposium. It was an in-person, behavioral health planning session in which current trends and challenges were discussed as we develop 2022 programming and initiatives.

Our Executive Director, Joseph Conte, provided the opening remarks. Robert Kent, Esq., General Counsel, Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy gave the keynote presentation followed by Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon, who provided the Current State Address on overdoses on Staten Island. We held an open comment session for providers, peers and participants to provide public comments. We closed the day with an interactive panel discussion with managed care payers and behavioral health providers who discussed innovative payment models. Thank you to our sponsors, Ready Computing and Ontrack, our speakers and attendees for making this even possible!

In the News: “Fentanyl Test Strips as a Form of Harm Reduction: Study Outcomes”

Congratulations to our Director of Clinical Engagement, Nadeen Makhlouf and Chief Medical Officer, Salvatore Volpe, for their feature in Behavioral Health News! “Fentanyl Test Strips in the Form of Harm Reduction: Study Outcomes” focuses on the harm reduction program, through Community Health Action of Staten Island, which issued fentanyl test strips to harm reduction clients from April 2019 through November 2019. Read more about the study findings here.